Horseferry Playground is a wonderful gem of a playground for families visiting Central London with young kids. Hidden behind the Palace of Westminster in Victoria Tower Gardens it’s just a stone throw away from London’s famous attractions.
Victoria Tower Gardens
The area around the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey can get very crowded with tourists and it’s nice to have Victoria Tower Gardens as an escape route not far away. Located along the Thames Path, this patch of green feels like a sanctuary ideal for a summer picnics taking a break from Central London‘s busy streets.
Horseferry Playground Historic Roots
Horseferry Playground got its name from the old ferry crossing connecting Westminster with Lambeth Palace on the other side of the Thames. Ferrying people and animals across the Thames was completely normal back in the days when London Bridge was the only permanent structure crossing the river.
The playground space is open plan and it’s easy to keep an eye on the children while letting them explore on their own. It’s a contemporary playground refurbished in recent years, with a nice mix of play equipment suitable for toddlers and young children.
Fun things to see around Horseferry Playground
- Queen’s Life Guard – head over to Whitehall and watch the mounted horse guards
- Big Ben – the iconic clocktower is a symbol of London recognized all over the world
- Palace of Westminster – the seat of the UK government
- Westminster Abbey – the site of English and British coronations
- Tate Britain – London’s classic art gallery
- Buckingham Palace – get up early and watch the changing of the guard
- Vauxhall City Farm – small but popular farm on the other side of the river
A Modern Playground
Our three year old enjoyed running around the park trying out the sandpit, swing, slide, dance chimes while the water play was closed off when we visited. All of the installations felt safe, and there’s a good amount of space between the different areas so it didn’t feel crowded.
The design elements are original and enticing, like the half-buried horses sticking up from the ground inviting kids to clamber on.
There’s also a refreshment kiosk on-site and plenty of seating for parents around the perimeter of the playground.
If you’re looking for a play area in Central London, Horseferry playground should definitely be on your radar in case you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.